Lizzo sued by another ex-employee over bullying and sexual harassment claims

Fashion designer Asha Daniels sues singer and members of team including wardrobe manager after tour dancers file earlier lawsuit

The singer Lizzo has been sued again by another former employee who alleges she was subject to bullying as well as sexual and racial harassment in an “unsafe, sexually charged workplace culture”.

On Thursday, lawyers of 35-year-old Asha Daniels, a fashion designer who created pieces for dancers on Lizzo’s tour, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles superior court against the singer and other members of her team including the wardrobe manager, Amanda Nomura.

Thursday’s lawsuit comes a little over a month after several of Lizzo’s tour dancers filed a lawsuit accusing the singer of sexual harassment and weight-shaming in multiple incidents from 2021 and 2023.

In a statement in August, Lizzo denied the allegations, saying: “These sensationalised stories are coming from former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behaviour on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional.”

The new lawsuit, which NBC reviewed, accused Nomura of referring to the performers as “fat”, “useless” and “dumb”, and forcing them to change in front of predominantly white male stage crew members who would “lewdly gawk” at them, NBC reports.

The Hollywood Reporter, which also reviewed the lawsuit, reported that there was a group chat consisting of over 30 people from the Big Grrrl Big Touring team “which included Lizzo tour management and Plaintiff”, adding: “In the group message, a backstage manager sent a photo graphically depicting male genitalia.”

According to the lawsuit, when Lizzo’s tour arrived in Amsterdam, Daniels claims that she saw Nomura and other supervisors “discussing hiring sex workers for lewd acts, attending sex shows and buying hard drugs”, adding that she was pressured to join in the activities.

The suit added: “On several occasions, Nomura made statements and/or took physical actions to threaten Plaintiff and the entire crew: (1) she threatened Plaintiff and others that she would ‘kill a bitch’ and ‘stab a bitch’ when she could not find her medication. (2) she shoved a crew member in retaliation for revealing she was threatening to quit. (3) Nomura snatched food out of a local worker’s hand for merely attempting to take an assigned break.”

Daniels also claims to have been subject to an exhausting work schedule that involved 20-hour daily shifts. She added that she was “frequently denied breaks” by Nomura who “monitored and policed” team members who were under her supervision.

The lawsuit also alleges that Nomura sprained Daniels’ ankle while she was moving a clothing rack and when Daniels subsequently switched to orthopaedic shoes, Nomura allegedly forced her to change back into her tennis shoes, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

According to the lawsuit, Daniels informed the tour manager, Carlina Gugliotta, who is also named as a defendant, about the “widespread racial and sexual harassment” in which “Black dancers were being mocked, objectified and denied accommodations” in February. However, Daniels claims that her complaints were overlooked and that she was fired before the end of her contact.

Speaking to NBC about her experiences on tour, Daniels said that she felt like she was “living in a madhouse”.

“It was totally shocking … I was listening to this Black woman on this huge stage have this message of self-love and caring for others and being empathetic and being strong and standing up for others,” she said, adding, “And I was witnessing myself, the dancers and the background vocalists and my local team in every city be harassed and bullied regularly.”

In response to the lawsuit, a Lizzo spokesperson told NBC that Ron Zambrano, Daniels’ lawyer, was attempting to “sully” a humanitarian award that Lizzo is expected to receive on Thursday night from the Black Music Action Coalition.

According to the spokesperson, the lawsuit is a “bogus, absurd publicity-stunt lawsuit” from someone who “never actually met or even spoke with Lizzo”.


Maya Yang

The GuardianTramp

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